NEW YORK (PIX11) — While it looks to be a cold and quiet start to the week, a potent storm system could create big travel troubles during the latter half with Christmas coming up this weekend. The storm looks to be more powerful than last week’s system bringing heavy rain, strong winds and more widespread coastal flooding.

The first half of the week looks to be tranquil, but it will stay cold. Overnight temperatures will dip into the upper 20s, but there will still be a breeze around. That will make it feel closer to 20 degrees toward daybreak for New York City.

Eventually, high pressure will settle over the region on Tuesday, allowing the winds to settle down. It will be cold though, with highs only topping out in the upper 30s. By Wednesday, we may see temperatures climb further up into lower 40s under sunny skies.

Things start to turn downhill quickly on Thursday as an area of low pressure develops in the Southeastern United States and track to the west of the region. Skies will cloud up quickly and showers could develop as early as the afternoon. We expect the rain the quickly ramp up at night and turn windy with gusts approaching 50 mph or so.  The rain and wind look to continue into Friday as well.

With the winds coming in from the south and east, we will see temperatures climb toward 50 on Thursday and rise further into the mid to upper 50s on Friday. As the storm system tapers off, a cold front will sweep across and temperatures will essentially crash. Temperatures may plummet so quickly that the rain may taper off as snow before it ends sometime on Friday afternoon or evening. It is too soon to determine if there would be any accumulations as a result of the changeover. In addition, the dramatic drop in temperatures may cause a flash freeze where the wet surfaces quickly turn over to ice.

Along with the rain and the wind are the possibility of a changeover to snow and a flash freeze.

We have to look at the coast for the potential of flooding. There is an astronomical high tide expected due to the new moon, and that is expected to cause widespread coastal flooding at high tide on Thursday and Friday. Tides may run 2 feet to 4 feet above normal, causing moderate to locally isolated major flooding along the shoreline. Beach erosion is to be expected as well. 

Things will settle down on Saturday, but it will be dramatically colder with temperatures staying in the 20s all day long and into Christmas Eve. Christmas Day will be a cold one as well. While it will be mostly sunny, temperatures will only be around 30 degrees.